Yo'av is a green rural region covering an area of some 220,000 dunams (about 55,000 acres). It is bordered on the north by central Israel, and by the Negev to the south. It is located between Re’em junction to the north and Qiryat Gat to the south, between Beit Guvrin to the east and Giv'ati junction to the west.
The Yo'av Regional Council was established in 1952.
Origin of the name: the late Yitzhak Dubno, whose Haganah nickname was Yo'av.
Yo'av was the first commander of Negba in the War of Independence, and died in its defense. His name is commemorated in the "Yo'av Operation", an operation which aimed to open the way to the Negev in the War of Independence, which began in October 1948. The operation achieved the liberation of part of the region, which later became part of the regional council. Yo'av Fortress (the Iraq Suidan police station) is also named after him, and is located next to Kibbutz Negba. The building is today occupied by the Giv'ati House Museum. Kibbutz Sede Yo'av is also named after him.
Yo'av has around 6,600 inhabitants. Sources of income for the local population include agriculture, industry, services, tourism and small businesses. Most of the inhabitants work outside their own communities.
The children of the Yo'av Regional Council attend the Sedot Yo'av primary school at Kibbutz Gat, and the Zafit regional high school at Kibbutz Kefar Menahem. Families that prefer a religious education send their children to state religious schools in Qiryat Gat. All these schools have organized transport, supervised by the regional authority.
The communities in the Yo'av Regional Council area include:
- 8 kibbutzim: Beit Guvrin, Beit Nir, Gal'on, Gat, Kefar Menahem, Negba, Revadim, Sede Yo'av
- 3 moshavim: Kefar Harif, Nahala, Segula
- 1 communal village : Wardon
- 1 youth village: Kedma
- 1 community of ethnic minorities: El Azi